23 August, 2021 | Posted by Cian Fahey

Andy Reid on The Value of His Education in Coaching

Andy Reid Coaching Value

“It puts a different spin on it. It opens it up completely.” Andy Reid discusses the value of his coaching education and his love for coaching with John Duggan of Off The Ball.

As a player, Andy Reid was capped 29 times for the Republic of Ireland.

Reid was one of Ireland’s most technically gifted players of the last two decades. He was a central playmaker, someone who could connect midfielders with attackers, develop attacking phases, create opportunities for his teammates and score goals.

While he was very intelligent and always aware of his surroundings, Reid was never celebrated for his fitness, discipline or work rate. He was what many would describe as a luxury player. But at 38 years of age, Reid is no longer a player.

Now he’s a coach.

And he’s a very different coach to what he was as a player.

I’ve had to retrain myself from being a footballer to being a football coach because it’s completely different.

Yeah, the knowledge is in there and you’ve experienced it but the organization, how do you deal with people, how you manage, how do you manage a game, you’re not just thinking about your position you’re thinking about everyone else’s position.

In a lot of ways I’ve had to retrain myself, which has been a fantastic process and it’s really, really broadened my mind on how the game should be played.”

As Nottingham Forest Under-23s manager, Reid now routinely works 12 hour days, starting at 6:30 in the morning to set up sessions before coaching different teams up until 7pm in the evening. He has taken his talent and experiences as a footballer and combined them with an education in coaching to discover a dream he didn’t know that he had.

“I done the A-License when I was still playing. It gives you a good organization. It gives you a real good organization where you get to set up your sessions, you get to understand the size of the sessions, how many people you should have in what type of areas. It’s very organizational based and session based.

That’s what I took from the A-License then you move forward to the Pro License and it’s a different kettle of fish. It’s more to do with the managerial side, there’s a lot to do with the psychology side of it. It really delves into the depths of management more than coaching.”

Like many players, Reid focused on the professional soccer coaching licenses to follow his career path. Those licenses carry a more narrow focus than a degree in coaching would, but the principles are the same.

Portobello Institute’s BA (Hons) Physical Education educates students on how to manage groups of players, how to inspire and connect with individuals and how to devise training sessions/organisations to work most effectively.

This Level 8 degree encompasses the foundational principles of both the A License and the Pro License while being applicable to all sports.

Even as a former professional footballer, Reid has felt huge value in his education in coaching.

“It puts a different spin on it. It opens it up completely. I think the difference between when you’re a player to when you’re a coach is that when I was a player I was very selfish, as most players are in the fact that you look after your own position, you look after your own job and if you do your own job then you can help a teammate along.

When you’re a coach you’re looking after the whole team so that’s something that you need to get your head around. I don’t think you’ve necessarily had to have played the game to coach the game to a high level. I think you have to have a very good football knowledge though.”

By combining his own passion for soccer as an individual and what he’s continually learning as a coach, Reid now finds it hard to pull himself away from the pitch.

“It’s brilliant. I love it. I have to say. I’m absolutely over the moon with the work that I’m doing. It’s brilliant, I love going in every single day. I’ve got a spring in my step. The lads are great. It’s a great club to work for. It’s a club that’s very close to my heart.”


Portobello Institute values the one in everyone and understands that education is only a part of your life. We don’t want to take up all of your time and create stress for you. You should go to college to improve your life outside of college and after college.

We are training the sports professionals of the future. If you would like to work in sport in a professional capacity, you can find a course that will provide you with the requisite education to do so.

Our sports courses are listed here.

To read more articles like this one, you can visit the Sports section of the Knowledge Zone.

If you would prefer to have a direct conversation with Johanna, you can contact her on 01-892-0024 or you can email her at jo.shaw@portobelloinstitute.com. Meetings with Johanna can be booked through this link.




Featured in this article:
Johanna Shaw has a 2:1 in BSc (Hons) in Sports and Exercise Science from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh. She completed an MPhil Studentship in Physical Activity for Health alongside an Exercise Development role. She then went onto a Tackling Inactivity in Students role funded by Sport England within a Further Education College in London before moving back to Dublin to Portobello Institute.

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